For my second reading response, these points regard different gendered conversational styles….

Point 1) Children’s Play and Gendered Styles

At a young age, boys and girls are somewhat separated into their own groups or categories demonstrating their own conversational styles.  Typically, young girls’ communication tend to be characterized as a small group and where talking and negotiating is a central role.  Young boys’ communication tend to be characterized as a much larger group, competitive, and asserting one’s independence.  I understood much more about children’s play after Julia Wood’s interpretation of boys and girls “play rules”.  In summary, boys’ play rules used communication to get individuals’ attention, to create and maintain an audience, and to compete with other boys for leader supremacy.  Girls’ play rules used communication to create and maintain their MANY relationships and to avoid criticizing and putting others down.  After reading these rules I thought to myself, “Well, what if there was a cross gender activity; would the gender rules occur there too?”

In an African American study, girls attitudes can change when they are engaged with boys during a sport or another activity.  This study is somewhat like MTV’s “Yo Momma“, but it includes young boys and girls rather than young adults.  This study concludes that girls’ play can lead argument and talking behind one another’s back.  This is common with girls because they love to gossip, as in a negative way.  This might occur in many cases, however, I don’t find this type of behavior as more hurtful or confrontation than what boys’ negative attitudes can lead to.  At a young age, arguments and disagreements within the male gender can lead to in-school fights on the playground, which then can lead to suspension, which can lead to parental punishment.  In my research, it seems all cultures are different when it comes to children’s play.  For example, between US and Chinese boys, the US boys were found to be more assertive than the girls in same-sex play; however, the opposite was true of Chinese children.  In cross-sex conflict, both US boys and Chinese girls used more direct responses, such as pushing or name calling.  From childhood to adolescence, attitudes and behaviors extremely differ.  Can there be any exceptions to the boys’ and girls’ rules if an example of a “tomboy” occurred?

Point 2) Feminine Style

People socialized in feminine speech communities tend to view communication as a principle way of creating and maintaining relationships with others.  In other words, talk is the center and essential part of relationships.  In a feminine style of communication, people equalize status through matching of experiences.  Feminine speech is often used to support others and focuses on the relationship level of communication.  In this case, one’s who are feminine don’t want to see others hurt or down.  Additionally, feminine speech can is often used to invite others in the conversation.  I feel like women, more than men, feel bad if people are left out of certain conversations.  However, it is not only women who are involved in a feminine style of communication.  A few men can also fit this category.  How can men be put into this feminine style?

Well, in my household, my Dad seems to have the feminine role, meaning my Mom has the masculine role which I will get to later when I discuss the masculine style.  My Dad plays the role of Mr. Nicey Nice as he nutures, helps others and displays his emotional appeal.  My Dad contains an indirect style of communication, rather than a direct style which most men possess.  For example, my Dad will say, “The milk has gone bad.”  The direct form of this would be, “Throw away the bad milk.”  I would not call my Dad “feminine”, but he does have a feminine COMMUNICATION STYLE that is seen as polite because of the respect for another’s self image, feelings and needs.

Point 3) Masculine Style

A masculine style of communication can commonly be seen inside the workforce.  Many companies require presentations and problem solving where employees must use their communication as a tool for completing a task, taking control and to gain independence and status.  This is what the masculine style is asking for.  In comparison to the feminine style of communication, it seems as though an individual who exerts a masculine form of communication would be more successful in what they do, whether that be athletics, school, work, etc.  Masculine communicators seem to want everything in the right place.  They’ll interrupt if things are not in order or the way they want.  Masculine speakers seem to communicate in more abstract, less concrete ways.  In general, masculine speech patterns tend to be less demonstratively responsive to others.  As I stated above, my Dad has more of a feminine style of communication.  My mom definitely contains a masculine approach.  She will not rest until she achieves what she wants.  She doesn’t work anymore, but she still exploits her masculine style to telemarketers and companies who she has bought things from.  Well-constructed negotiation could be another characteristic of a masculine style.  What makes some women possess a masculine style of communication?  Is it their background, the way they were brought up?

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